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Analysis and Comment (21)

NSW premier Mike Baird’s government remains resilient despite a growing body count as a result of revelations at the state’s ICAC. NSW premier Mike Baird’s government remains resilient despite a growing body count as a result of revelations at the state’s ICAC. AAP/Nikki Short

A growing body count by ICAC hasn’t hurt the NSW Liberals – yet

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is the state’s most popular institution. If you need proof, ask yourself: just how many other government bodies have members of the…
For acting on a NSW Law Reform Commission review of bail laws, Greg Smith was pilloried for having gone from ‘Rambo’ in opposition to ‘marshmallow soft’ on crime as attorney-general. For acting on a NSW Law Reform Commission review of bail laws, Greg Smith was pilloried for having gone from ‘Rambo’ in opposition to ‘marshmallow soft’ on crime as attorney-general. Daily Telegraph

Is rational law reform still possible in a shock-jock tabloid world?

The New South Wales government’s decision to “review” and amend the new Bail Act after only one month in operation illustrates worrying trends in public policymaking relevant to all jurisdictions. It raises…
It seems things are not yet bad enough in the Labor Party to make significant reform, such as John Faulkner’s proposed changes to preselection, likely. It seems things are not yet bad enough in the Labor Party to make significant reform, such as John Faulkner’s proposed changes to preselection, likely. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Faulkner’s reforms will fail as NSW Labor refuses to change

Labor senator John Faulkner does not anticipate that his moves to reform the party’s preselection processes will succeed at this weekend’s NSW State Conference. Faulkner is hoping to have the rules changed…
NSW premier Barry O'Farrell felt obliged to resign as a result of ICAC revelations when it wasn’t clear to all that he should. NSW premier Barry O'Farrell felt obliged to resign as a result of ICAC revelations when it wasn’t clear to all that he should. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Has monitory democracy spawned a monster in ICAC?

“Monitory democracy” refers to the extra-parliamentary, para-legal, post-bureaucratic institutions of scrutiny that emerged as recently as the 1970s in Australia. Their evolution has swept us along in…
NSW premier Mike Baird has suggested moving to the full public funding of election campaigns in response to the stunning revelations at the state’s ICAC hearings. NSW premier Mike Baird has suggested moving to the full public funding of election campaigns in response to the stunning revelations at the state’s ICAC hearings. AAP/Alan Porritt

Public funding of election campaigns won’t end improper influence

The revelations concerning the sorry state of political finance in NSW continue to be aired at public hearings of the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Both the Liberal and Labor…
Mike Baird is the man chosen by the Liberal Party to replace Barry O'Farrell as premier. Who is he, and what challenges does he now face? Mike Baird is the man chosen by the Liberal Party to replace Barry O'Farrell as premier. Who is he, and what challenges does he now face? AAP/Tracey Nearmy

From O'Farrell to Baird: a new start for NSW politics?

Mike Baird has been elected unopposed as the new NSW Liberal Party leader, and will soon become the state’s 44th premier after the shock resignation of Barry O'Farrell yesterday. But what are the prospects…
NSW premier Barry O'Farrell has fallen victim to the state’s ICAC, resigning his post earlier today over a ‘memory fail’ in the evidence he gave before it. NSW premier Barry O'Farrell has fallen victim to the state’s ICAC, resigning his post earlier today over a ‘memory fail’ in the evidence he gave before it. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

History repeats: how O'Farrell and Greiner fell foul of ICAC

Today, the New South Wales Independent Commission into Corruption (ICAC) claimed its biggest political scalp in two decades. Liberal state premier Barry O’Farrell resigned after what he has described as…
Barry O'Farrell has resigned after acknowledging that his denial to ICAC of receiving expensive wine, was incorrect. Barry O'Farrell has resigned after acknowledging that his denial to ICAC of receiving expensive wine, was incorrect. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

O’Farrell fell short of basic standards in business and public life

It is tragic that New South Wales has lost an able and dedicated Premier apparently over a bottle of wine, even if it is a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange. Many will be sad to see Barry O’Farrell…
ICAC has found Eddie Obeid (pictured at an earlier hearing), his son Moses and former NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald engaged in corrupt conduct. ICAC has found Eddie Obeid (pictured at an earlier hearing), his son Moses and former NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald engaged in corrupt conduct. AAP Image/Paul Miller

ICAC calls for criminal charges against NSW ALP kingmakers: the experts respond

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today found NSW Labor powerbrokers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid, and his son Moses Obeid, engaged in corrupt conduct and has recommended criminal…
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has highlighted the infrastructure spending in today’s NSW budget. NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has highlighted the infrastructure spending in today’s NSW budget. AAP Image/ Tracey Nearmy

NSW Budget boosts infrastructure, delivers deficit: the experts respond

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has handed down a state budget that predicts a return to surplus as early next year, with major spending on infrastructure as its showcase. The budget predicts a lower than expected…
NSW Attorney General Greg Smith (center) claims that previous laws guaranteeing the right to silence were easily exploited by criminals. NSW Attorney General Greg Smith (center) claims that previous laws guaranteeing the right to silence were easily exploited by criminals. AAP/Dean Lewins

When you say nothing at all: NSW and the right to silence

The right to silence when being interviewed or questioned by police would be considered a fundamental legal right by many people. But it is not a “right” you can exercise in New South Wales any more. The…
Sandon Point, where EDO NSW argued a landmark case for a resident concerned about a development that failed to consider climate change and increased flooding. Sandon Point, where EDO NSW argued a landmark case for a resident concerned about a development that failed to consider climate change and increased flooding. Powerhouse Museum

Environmental defenders under attack: why funding must be restored

With a new planning system about to be introduced in NSW, the need for an independent, specialist public interest environmental and planning law centre is greater than ever. For nearly 30 years, the Environmental…
Barry O'Farrell, seen here with Police Minister Mike Gallacher, has pursued several criminal law reforms aimed at disrupting criminal organisations. Barry O'Farrell, seen here with Police Minister Mike Gallacher, has pursued several criminal law reforms aimed at disrupting criminal organisations. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Our right to silence is too important to lose

The move to dilute the right to silence in NSW is unjust, constitutionally questionable and unnecessary. The O'Farrell government announced a “watering down” of right to silence laws in response to bikie…
NSW premier Barry O'Farrell’s government is under pressure to deliver on infrastructure projects. NSW premier Barry O'Farrell’s government is under pressure to deliver on infrastructure projects. AAP/Dean Lewins

Transport master plan could backfire for O'Farrell government

The O'Farrell government’s new Transport Master Plan may be grounded in realism, but it is an election loser. The plan, which has been brewing since the change of government, puts the construction of new…
Electricity price rises can be traced to a number of factors. Electricity price rises can be traced to a number of factors. AAP Image

The real cause of electricity price rises in NSW

As the political debate around rising power prices and the carbon tax heats up, there is a renewed debate around the privatisation of electricity distribution in New South Wales. With power prices sure…
Sydney is currently in the grip of a series of shooting attacks, particularly drive by incidents like this April 20 incident in the western suburbs. Sydney is currently in the grip of a series of shooting attacks, particularly drive by incidents like this April 20 incident in the western suburbs. AAP/Dean Lewins

If police and government can’t control Sydney gun crime, local communities must

The spiralling rise in shooting crimes in Sydney’s western suburbs requires strong and sustained political, community and police action to make suburbs safe for families. I happen to live in a suburb that…
Individuals can give thousands of dollars to political parties in NSW, but corporations can’t. Individuals can give thousands of dollars to political parties in NSW, but corporations can’t. Rgs_

New South Wales puts the screws on political funding … but who benefits?

Since 2010, New South Wales has had the most regulated political finance system in Australian history. This includes caps on expenditure in the six month period before an election and low annual limits…
Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel is on the brink of bankruptcy for the second time. Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel is on the brink of bankruptcy for the second time. AAP

Mind your PPPs: how to avoid the pitfalls of the public-private partnership model

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been in the spotlight recently, but seemingly, for all the wrong reasons. The NSW government, which has a particularly chequered history with PPPs, announced this…
National Party federal leader Warren Truss leads a party with new momentum. National Party federal leader Warren Truss leads a party with new momentum. AAP

The revival of the National Party in NSW - and beyond

Coverage of NSW state politics in the metropolitan media understandably focused on the devastating losses suffered in the 2011 election by Labor in its heartland areas, of Western and Southern Sydney…
Speed cameras save lives. Speed cameras save lives. AAP

Slow down on speed camera hysteria

The Auditor General’s review of speed cameras is a good effort in identifying the safety value of speed cameras in NSW. This is not the first time the NSW speed cameras have been reviewed. As presented…

Research and News (2)